“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcases of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.” ― Shannon L. Alder
What do you think: Leave everything behind and just follow your dreams and see if they are realisable? Just like that? You think it is possible? How will you manage to find a house, a new job, new friends…. plus a hundred questions more. These were questions I got when I left Belgium two years ago. Time is flying! Maybe it is also time to stand still and reflect about today. How did I get where I am now, from a full-time teacher in a fancy private school to a simple one-to-one teacher.
Personally, people who know us do know that we love challenges. No obstacle can stand in our way. We will take every small step that is needed till we can make it to the end, until the finish line, until we reached that specific goal that we wanted to reach. This could go from finding the job that would push us a little bit further or the studies that would open up new insights to us. It is these small choices that made us who we are. Life is also bringing us challenges that we sometimes do not expect, events that are not scheduled in our lives. Because lets face it: not everything can be pre-planned (and that’s maybe for the best).
Like that, June 2014, I got the news that I did not get a renewal for my contract in the school I was working and my brother, with whom I was sharing an apartment, decided to go live with his girlfriend (which is pretty logic and which I only could encourage). It seemed like no other choice was left. Starting a new chapter was the message I got. I decided to move to Greece to join Michalis. After three years and a half it was about time to start something together. But I will spear you all the romantic stories and get right to the point.
A new dream was born and new challenges were created by all kind of circumstances. I moved south, to a little piece of paradise. And yes, it is to that country, where there is a vast economical crisis, that I moved. People were calling me crazy to do it. They were concerned about my financial stability and if it was the right choice. When you move to another country it is a bit scary. I didn’t speak the language (okay, I still do not speak fluently, but Greek is damn hard to learn) and I didn’t know if I would find a job. The only thing to say in these times: We’ll see what happens! Que sera sera! (And seriously, what was the worst thing that can happen?)
It is this choice that made me realise that small things are the ones that spice up our lives. I sold most of my stuff or just gave it away and I moved. Together with Michalis, we made it happen that I found my way trough bureaucracy (Greek bureaucracy is a mess, but where in the world isn’t it). I discovered the joy of sunshine and everyday delicious fresh vegetables (both of these are hard to find in Belgium). And in the meanwhile we even moved from Athens to Crete. I still do not have a fixed job and I love it. I work as a private language teacher, a babysitter, I guide children in their homework and that is just what I love to do. The money is not excellent but it is enough. We can live like we want and we actually do not need more. The fact that it is possible to transmit knowledge to my students the way I want it without having to prove any accountability is just amazing.
Albert Einstein had a beautiful way to put it: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted”. So keep it simple, take one step at a time and tell yourself that everything is possible. So, if you have any challenge or obstacle coming your way, try to find out what you can do, with the help of whom ever needed, to give it a twist and make it a positive experience.